UN to investigate Drone Nation for war crimes

drone nation
Sancho Panza floated this onto some of his email contacts yesterday:
What do you think Americans would perceived Drone attacks as constituting….  if they were being conducted by the Chinese on  our citizens or political refugees that were classified by them as possible threats to the Communist State… like the many Chinese  Americans Dissidents that speak harshly of China… or the      Tibetan refugees we harbor?!
UN launches probe into drone strikes
Expert to inquire into drone strikes and whether resultant civilian deaths constitute a war crime.                
Rahul Radhakrishnan
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2013 13:07
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights  has launched an investigation into drone strikes and will review resultant civilian casualties to determine whether the attacks constitute a war crime.
Ben Emmerson, a UN special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, formally launched the inquiry on
Thursday, in response to requests from Russia, China and Pakistan.
A statement released by the UN Office of the High  Commissioner of Human Rights states that the inquiry will provide a “critical examination of the factual evidence concerning civilian casualties”.
It also states that the inquiry ultimately intends to make recommendations to the UN General Assembly to prompt countries to “investigate into the lawfulness and proportionality of such attacks”.
“This is not an investigation into the conduct of any particular state. It’s an investigation into the consequence into this form of technology,” Emmerson told Al Jazeera.
“The reality is that the increasing availability of this  technology […] makes it very likely that more states will be using this technology in the coming months and years and includes raising the spectre that non state organisations – organisations labelled as terrorist groups – could use the technology in                retaliation,” he added.
He said that it was a “very serious and escalating situation” which must be addressed by the international community “urgently”.
At a press conference on Thursday in London, Emmerson  said that the British government had already agreed to co-operate with the investigation and that he was “optimistic” that the US would do the same.
He also requested the US to release “before and after” videos of the drone strikes and internal reports of those killed, including civilians.
Emmerson’s team will conduct the inquiry in consultation with military experts and journalists from the UK, Yemen and Pakistan.
Drone deaths
Chris Woods, a senior journalist at London-based The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) said “more than 400 US  covert drone strikes have so far taken place in Pakistan, Yemen and  Somalia which have killed at least 3,000 people”.
UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson
In a twitter post from Emmerson’s press conference, Woods said that the “inquiry will study 25 drone strikes, where civilians [were] reported killed across Yemen, FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan], Somalia, Afghanistan and Gaza”.
“We believe more than 500 were likely to have been civilians [in the attacks]. The UN inquiry is important because it will focus on the key questions of the legality of such strikes, and the reported deaths of civilians,” he told Al Jazeera.
He added that TBIJ believes that there is not enough evidence to support the claims of some US officials who say that Pakistan secretly approves drone strikes.
Robert Densmore, editor of Defence Report magazine told Al Jazeera that the inquiry “is something that [needed] to happen to drive forward some more regulation”.
He said the inquiry could lay a framework to a potential UN convention to govern the use of drones – something similar to conventions in place for undetectable landmines and cluster ammunition.
“I think there could be enough multilateral pressure to convince the US that this would be something to pursue” he said.
Don Quixote
I floated  back to All:
Sancho, what do you figure are the odds of the US giving a shit what the UN comes up with on US drone strikes?
Sancho floated back to All:
Well, Sloan, it depends, on what you define as the “US” if you mean the Industrial Military Complex and The Banksters in Wall Street, the odds are minuscule… maybe as insignificant as the odds of you becoming POTUS… however, the people who run those government offices and the ones who benefit from their policies are still human(although they might be working on remedying that too) and therefore limited in their ability to hold on to total control by the fact that there is only one planet Earth and is getting smaller and smaller by the minute… resources are getting harder to pillage… their shiny white house on top of the hill depends on us, drones, to keep it nice and shiny.  There are other marauders out there in the sea looking to take us over, just like we did with the original tenants here…. so China and Russia will do everything they can to rouse the rabble (oops, I mean The People) out of their stupor, maybe the apple pie eaters, will take a second look, through their inebriated, eyes at their master’s doings and decide that they have had enough 42″ LCD TVs, Gas Guzzling SUBs and Smart Phones… but I’m not holding my breath on that one nor am I convinced that it would be any better for you or me if they succeeded in taking down the Man!
Cheers, Sancho!
I floated back to All:
l should have written, “What do you figure the odds of of the US Government giving a shit …”
Some days ago, a Key West amiga put up a link on Facebook to a Chris Hedges article about the impending end, or serious decline in numbers, of the human race on this planet due to the way said race treats the environment/planet. The link came with this uplifting pic. My reply underneath the pic probably applies just as well to the drone article you forwarded earlier today.
Sloan wrote: my scruffy opinion – This species is too numerous, too diverse, and too mixed up to be changed by human methods. A global cataclysm might bring about species change. A jolting supernatural intervention in plain view might bring about species change. A supernatural intervention into the soul of individual members of this species might bring about change in them, and might bring about change in the species, if it happens across the board in individual members. Otherwise, I think things on this world are going to continue to decline. Hope I’m proven wrong.
Personally, I don’t think it really matters who is in the White House, or which religious group controls Congress. Looks to me, as I told a gun rights/2nd Amendment advocate today over lunch at Coco’s Kitchen on Big Pine Key, the US died but just doesn’t know it. Like contracting HIV, the end is certain, the details of getting there still somewhat up in the air.
Maybe by the time Obama leaves the White House, if he ever leaves it, maybe before 4 years are out he will be declared King, what I was told before he even won the Democratic nomination in 2008, that he had the potential to be the Anti-Christ, will be more apparent. Mi amiga Sandy Downs told me the other day that her father has been told stuff in dreams all his life, and last Thanksgiving he was told in his sleep that Obama’s power is increasing dramatically.
I told the gun rights/2nd Amendment advocate today that I have no problem with the 2nd Amendment; without weapons American citizens would be helpless against their own government; but I opposed the sale of assault rifles because there were too many crazy people running around. The run rights/2nd Amendment advocate said people need assault rifles to protect themselves from crazy people. I said I preferred a 12 gauge Ithaca pump loaded with buckshot shells, which I, in fact, used to own and keep loaded in my home when I practiced law in Birmingham, and a .38 S & W loaded with hollow points, and a .22 bolt action with hollow points, with a telescopic sight. Don’t have any weapons now, other than a Rapala fish filet knife and some kitchen knives, and my mouth and pen, one or both of which I keep hoping will cause a crazy person to bump me off, but so far, I’m still here.
I told the gun rights/2nd Amendment fellow that before it’s all said and done, the US Military will be defending Americans from Americans, and he agreed and said that’s why assault rifles should be for sale.
As for drones, I published not long after the Sandy Hook School massacre that my “military advisers” told me in my sleep that it was karma for USA drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Before that, which I also published, the same “military advisers” told me in my sleep that Hurricane Sandy’s smackola of NY City and nearby was karma for the way USA responded to 9/11. The same “military advisers” who told me Obama had the potential to be the Anti-Christ. The same “military advisers” who stay on me 24-7, 365, perhaps eternally.
At the rate the USA is going, it don’t look to me like China, Russia, Islam, whatever, have to do much more than be patient. And not me, nor you, nor Chris Hedges, nor anyone you or I know or ever heard of, living or dead, is likely to make a dent in the outcome, although I have no doubt there will be plenty of debate and wailing and gnashing of teeth as the death throes increase.
After I invited the gun rights/2nd Amendment fellow to do it, he said he might write something up on his perspective and send it to me to publish. Might make for pretty schizophrenic reading woven in what you sent to me, and then our ensuing mewling and puking :-).
What’s the UN gonna do? Tell the US Government to behave?
Sloan the cheer drone
In answer to your initial question, I imagine most Americans would view drone strikes launched by foreign countries into America about like most Americans viewed 9/11. And I imagine most American’s would demand retaliation. And I imagine most Americans would never get the point. Perhaps drones never get the point.
P.P.S. Looks to me, Barack Hussein Obama authorizing drone attacks overseas, which kill civilians, is no different from Osama bin Laden authorizing drones to commandeer American airliners and fly them into the Trade Towers. The UN would be more honest if it also charges President Obama with war crimes, and the Nobel Cartel for encouraging those war crimes by giving President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. I imagine all of this droning will be part of a “UN investigates Drone Nation for war crimes” post today, 27 January 2013, at www.goodmorningfloridakeys.com.
The Big Pine Key gun/2nd Amendment advocate did not send me anything, but I found two opposing views in The Key West Citizen today:
Gun control is a ‘pro-life’ position
Amid the cacophony of various representative groups attempting to make sense of and/or explain the massacre of 20 babies and six of their caretakers in Newtown, Conn., one normally very vocal group has been silent. There are thousands of citizens, along with many politicians, who identify themselves as “pro-life” or “right-to-life” advocates, which on the surface seems to make a sort of intuitive sense. After all, aren’t we all pro-life in actuality? However, there is a stunning disconnect when it comes to how Washington, D.C., lawmakers interpret the sanctity of life. The so-called pro-life advocates in the House consistently vote “no” on any firearm restriction whatsoever. “No” to any attempt to lessen the 32,000 gun-related deaths a year. They vote “no” on assistance to mothers and their newborns (that were once fetuses) and are lockstep set against funding of decent health care, including mental illness, which would prevent thousands more deaths a year. These very same congressmen enjoy every cushy benefit the U.S. government can provide, including top-shelf health care, great pay and a pension after only five years. Talk about a glaring disconnect and epic hypocrisy — but I digress. The only conclusion I could draw from the silence of the pro-life advocates on the murder of those children in Connecticut is that the feminists are right. The term “pro-life” is really code for anti-women’s rights and anti-women’s autonomy. Being pro-life would imply you are anti-death, and after the horror of Newtown, you would be anything but mute. The same protest tactics used at abortion clinics could be employed at firearms manufacturers. Picket signs might say, “Guns don’t kill people, crazy people with easy access to multi-shot killing tools kill people” or blown up photos of bullet-riddled children. Anyone who identifies themselves as “pro-life” should step back and ask what that truly means, and then you might join the rest of us real pro-lifers calling for legislation to better the lives of the living.
Alex Symington
Key West
Banning assault rifles will not solve anything
Do to other obligations I was unable able to attend Wednesday’s [Key West City] Commission meeting, but here is what I was going to say. In the U.S. in 2011, smoking contributed to 440,000 deaths, but I don’t see the commissioners banning tobacco products in Key West. And 10,228 people were killed by drunk drivers, but they’re not banning alcohol — they even made it easier to obtain on Sundays. God forbid we have to close some bars down. There were 1,897 killed by knives, maybe we should shut down the restaurant store. So much for filleting our fish. Six hundred were killed with bats. That’s it, no more baseball or softball. I guess we’re going to have to limit it to Wiffle ball. Four hundred ninety-six were killed with hammers, so let’s require all carpenters to register their hammers and put a size limit on how big it can be. Three hundred twenty-three were killed with assault rifles, but let’s all jump on the bandwagon, even if we admit it’s not going to solve the problem. We as a nation failed when we took the belts and paddles out of parents’ and teachers’ hands. Guns don’t do the killing, people do! Commissioner Yaniz was so close to scoring the team’s only points, only to fumble at the 1-yard line. Commissioner Johnston should know that AR-15s have become the rifle of choice for hog hunters these days. I have known Chief Lee [Key West’s Chief of Police] since he was a little kid, and respect him and the job he does as chief, but let’s face the facts. In Key West the chances of a drunk driver leaving your house and killing someone are far greater than some whacked out person going on a shooting spree.
Wallace R. Moore Jr.
Key West
Based on statistics, it seems the odds of Key West school children being killed by assault rifles are considerably less than the odds of them being bullied at school and going home and shooting themselves with their father’s .22 caliber pistol.
I well remember a really heated Key West City Commission meeting during which the City Commission, by a narrow margin, approved a Resolution stating the City of Key West did not want America to go to war in Iraq without UN sanction.
Maybe the UN also should charge past President George W. Bush with war crimes. And, maybe Americans who favored those wars and want assault rifles to be freely available in America should take a few weeks off to count all the American military personnel killed, maimed, wounded, physically and battleshock-wize, in that war and in the Afghanistan war.
Then, those assault rifle-advocate Americans start over and do the same count for Iraqi and Afghan combatants and non-combatants. Perhaps if American assault rifle advocates do that, they will gain a true perspective. But then, perhaps drones are not capable of having a true perspective.
Sloan Bashinsky

About Sloan

That's what this website is about, also goodmorningkeywest.com and goodmorningbirmingham.com. If you can't get a publisher to take on your wacky musing, you do it yourself.
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